L'Occitane Reviews

Updated October 28, 2014
Updated October 28, 2014
148 Reviews
2.4
148 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
L'Occitane Directeur Exécutif, Président du Conseil d'Administration et Président Directeur Général Reinold Geiger
Reinold Geiger
23 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great products with great ingredients that work (in 20 reviews)

  • Generous employee discount enabled us to purchase products for personal use (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management knows about these conditions, or they at least should get a clue (in 21 reviews)

  • Lack of work life balance - taking personal or sick time is frowned upon (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 10 people found this helpful  

    Learn what you can, then Get Out while you can

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at L'Occitane part-time

    Pros

    Reputable products, loyal clientele, monthly gratis.

    Cons

    This company runs their retail teams like a whip-to-cattle. All the negatives noted - i.e., little to zero Work-Life Balance, paltry raises, ugly sorority attitudes, payroll hours being cut down, wearing clownish outfits to pull in traffic during dead heat or hellish cold, etc. - all true. And what makes it worse is that in some of the stores, the ventilation is not properly tended to, therefore, rendering the employees, or rather a lone, sole EMPLOYEE (emphasis on the singular adjective) to suffocate in the summer, or refrigerate in the winter. Customers have noted seeing sales associate wrapped to the nose, shivering in the store while trying to work, and the doors are wide open in the winter. Also experienced oven-like conditions in some stores where the air conditioner isn't fixed (or is unfixable). Upper management knows about these conditions, or they at least should get a clue. THIS is what this company does to their own when they are supposed to be the image of prestige and elite??

    They train on product knowledge and put demands on what is expected to sell -- the 'Always' as it is called. Those 'Always' aren't the most 'Practical', or 'Preferred' for or by the customer, but the associate is expected to push anyway as if these creams are a drug fix. They do NOT provide proper computer registers training. All of it is learned on the floor at the stroke of the moment - God forbid you have a situation with a frozen screen, are left alone with a few cranky waiting customers, and having to troubleshoot on the spot. The Point of Sale system is the pits, and it moves like a death crawl. Doing Refunds, Exchanges, Store Credits, and Gift Cards can be an ordeal with these cruddy computers.

    Many notable employees have defected to other companies with better jobs due to many plausible reasons. These were people who once put in their "all in" to trying to hold operations, morale, and their sanity together under the strains of upper management. Looking at the Corporate folks lately, not one of them comes across as relatable people who truly understands how rough it is to work in the 'fields'. They can enjoy all their comforts of a warm desk, functional air conditioning, complimentary beverages by the company, and Summer Fridays while glazing over the sacrifices the retail soldiers must do to keep doors open. These associates risk their safety, their health, their integrity, their personal quality of life to pay their bills.

    So therefore, it is no wonder why those who have left, will never return. (Shredding their aprons should be the first Declaration of Independence ritual) Those who are left behind, are considering other options. Those newbies who are peeking into these reviews, are getting their lightbulb moment. Those who should or DO have the power to implement improvements, are STILL in full disregard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to Management is a near waste of breath. Denial and Delusion are alive and well in La-La-land.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at L'Occitane as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    The internship was at the NYC office - US Headquarters.
    Interns were really involved in all the projects the company was working on. I truly felt like an employee because of all the important responsibilities I had.
    Paid internship ($7.25/hour), which is rare in the NYC area.
    40% employee discount.

    Cons

    There was not a lot of room for advancement. HR kept saying how much they cared about the interns and employees but when you reached out regarding employment opportunities, you would never hear back.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Follow-up with interns and full-time employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 9 people found this helpful  

    More bad memories than good...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at L'Occitane full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Real quality products
    You do learn a lot about running a business as an SM
    Some amazing people at all different levels (key word some)

    Cons

    A lot of questionable leaders from DM level and up
    They break you and make you feel like you cant do anything else
    Nothing is ever good enough
    Hypcrisy in values and culture
    Gossipy and sexist
    Intimidating not inspiring upper management
    Low level of ethics and regard for store teams and working environment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop trying to demean and intimidate store teams and start inspiring and empowering them. More work needs to be done with organizational management. This is not a great place to work and the problem starts with DMs and some obnoxious corporate associates, clean it up. Youre expanding faster than the US can handle and cannabilizing existing stores and losing control of experience, teams and culture/values. Reducing the L&D team was a mistake.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 9 people found this helpful  

    They preach teamwork and unity and it couldn't be further from the truth.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at L'Occitane

    Pros

    Other people held hostage by an economy that is difficult to find make means in another company at the moment. Some of these people at mid to lower lever are some of the finest.

    Cons

    Abusive leaders.
    Almost military like approach without military intelligence.
    Ridiculously long work days.
    Hostile workplace.
    Unrealistic expectations.
    Inhumane treatment of anyone who does not fit the"profile" or someone who doesn't have history with other across the pond.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that the company is not long of this earth. The people who have been put in positions of leadership in this country from other countries have destroyed the integrity and vision of a beautiful brand.
    NYC-NJ

    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    You'll need REHAB from working here....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at L'Occitane

    Pros

    If you are lucky, you will find an inner-support group network for job-survival purposes.

    Cons

    From reading ALL those pain-filled reviews before this one (shared within the past 10+ weeks), just about everything posted are a deplorable CON, 10 times multiplied. This is a demoralizing environment. The store employees are severely burnt.

    While corporate are busily shifting around existent employees into other positions of 'power' and/or 'influence' and being so self-congratulatory, they are taking no notice of the crumbling structure of what was once groups of mighty store teams. D.M.'s should go check in the mirror and get a good look at "What's Wrong with this Picture??"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is NOTHING worth advising management about - they hate advice. Instead of nurturing, they callously wreck their own. Since they choose to remain motionless & not implement improvements, they are building themselves a home-made time bomb. And the store managers and associates are some of the first lambs led to slaughter.

    ~~~~> Advice for the unsuspecting newcomers who are still learning your way around: Beware. Know your rights. Otherwise Upper Management will take liberties and take away from you what has already been robbed of many, past and present:

    - your health
    - a decent wage
    - a fit place to work

    To those colleagues who have managed to bail out of this company: I raise my beer to you. Don't forget about those left behind!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Don't believe the haters

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Sales Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Sales Assistant in New York, NY

    I have been working at L'Occitane full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    opportunities to progress ... I've been here 6 months and been promoted already
    great staff discount
    respectful management - I haven't experienced anythng other than people being nice
    amazing products (the reason I joined in first place)
    decent pay

    Cons

    yes there are a lot of codes and somethings get complicated
    yes the till system isnt the easiest

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    dont listen to all the haters out there ... they're just losers ... to me and the people I talk to things are good and feel like they are getting better ... I have worked at far worse places ... its retail after all!
    my advice to the negative nellies ... if you hate it so much have the guts to go somewhere else ..

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 14 people found this helpful  

    Think twice before submitting your resumé

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at L'Occitane

    Pros

    Relatively tidy stores. Store soundtrack that doesn't sound like a funeral dirge.

    Cons

    When target numbers are not met due to a bad season or no-fault regardless of all efforts, it's the store teams that suffer and are unfairly 'punished' by having the following taken away from them:

    - number of allotted hours to stay afloat
    - stability, safety, and structure
    - the possibility of becoming Full-time with benefits (if you are a part-timer already putting in more than 32 hours consistently)

    Result from the above mentioned, are a bare-bones crew running a store that will wear them to the core! Just 1 Associate, no manager around to resolve situations, and 5-8 customers in a store all at once with ZERO back up, and worse, registers that freeze. The pressure placed on the one sales person in closing shift is outrageous, especially if the day began slow, and the final hours are dependent to drag in that last 1k needed to make goal. There is no safety guarantee! Many of these associates are young women trying to work a closing shift alone, often late, often minding not only a store, the products, but also their defenseless selves.

    Also, for Part-Timers, they are relatively screwed of hours, sending many scrambling around to scratch up shifts. Many Part-Timers need their jobs to pay for school, cover living expenses, and save for rainy days -- and this company makes it nearly impossible to plan your life. On top of that, so many are not trained properly on policies, how to deal with problem customers and registers, trouble-shooting, and compliancy rules. Mistakes are made, and frustrations accumulate. So many have quit, it's become a game of "Who's Next and How Soon".

    Full-timers and managers are already stretched to the point of apathy. With the ever mounting pressure and constant changes, it all becomes just a big stress-pile, and a huge joke to come to work - breaking points are reached. The next game should be titled 'How Soon before Collapse' for this company!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As several reviews have said, Corporate Management does not care about the store employees. Advice falls on deaf ears!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 9 people found this helpful  

    Zero work-life balance with a hypocritical company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous
    Current Employee - Anonymous

    I have been working at L'Occitane full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Company attracts quality people (just can't retain them).
    40% discount

    Cons

    Managers are just glorified sales associates, with absolutely zero authority. Can't interview/hire/promote or give raises without DM/corporate approval. DMs insist on interviewing all part time associates, and even some seasonals. Micro-managing from DMs are corporate is unreal.

    Required to sell two $100 face creams a day, regardless of store traffic/sales volume. Yes, lower volume stores ($300k) are held to the same goal as million dollar stores. Required to show the $106 Divine cream to every customer who sets foot in the store, regardless of their actual interests which just leads to awkward interactions with customers who then perceive that you work on commission.

    Company preaches prosperity and simplicity, but has dozens of metrics to meet on a daily basis: 2 Divines, 30% skincare, fragrance, conversion, increased ATV and tickets. All associates are held accountable to meeting these metrics and often have to explain slow days to nasty emails from corporate demanding an explanation.

    Store goals are completely inconsistent, some are goaled up 5% to last year while others are goaled up 20%. When you hit your monthly goals and earn bonus they just increase your store's goals to make it more difficult to bonus (even if you're out performing all other stores). When some stores are performing at higher volume sales trends they increase the goals, but then don't increase your bonus or available labor hours accordingly.

    Business decisions that make zero sense: spend hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating low volume stores that haven't shown sales increase in years, but eliminate the Learning and Development team. Imagine the jobs that could have been created/retained if that money had been invested in associate education instead of giving under-performing stores an unnecessary facelift.

    Absolutely no work-life balance despite company claims. Most stores operate with only 3 or four associates and stretch them to five days a week at just 4-5 hour shifts, which makes switching a shift or taking a legit sick day nearly impossible due to lack of employees available to cover extra shifts.

    Horrible training. No management on boarding training, instead you get a few days working in another store and are expected to learn as you go. Training on products is non-existent. Part time associates are expected to be able to open and close by themselves after just 4 days of training.

    Annual "bonuses" aka merit increases are insulting, and generally just a 2% increase. And they find numerous ways to score you down so that you don't qualify for an increase. Proof? The manager with the highest review score in the whole U.S. scored just a 3.5 out of 5. That's how little they think of their whole management team??

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They don't listen (they write everything off as excuses)...but practice what you preach. Employees in the stores feel over-worked and unheard. Be receptive to the heartfelt feedback your employees have been trying to give you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 11 people found this helpful  

    A French Company Destroyed By British Men!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous in New York, NY

    I worked at L'Occitane

    Pros

    The origin and products are of course endearing and inspiring. The past of this once great brand remains in the quality of the products.

    Cons

    The title says it all. Our US staff is headed by incompetent leaders that rather than develop or hire people here installed the most insidious group of underlings from the UK. This boys club functions by gossiping and character assassination while patting eachother on the back. Under current leadership there have been ... Drum roll please... a list of awkward unprofitable store openings in weird markets. The stores are hemoraging staff old and new alike because the pressure of these underperforming stores is put on the salespeople. Our annual sales goals have been consistently increased by a rate of 20% leaving team morale lower than the 1% percent annual pay raises we've been getting for the last 2 years. Reviews and hours are constantly tampered with. We have virtually no part time staff and full timers have to work max 32 hours over the span of 5 days per week. Employees are miserable and tired of working alone with the doors open and fake cameras in a work environment so hostile it makes a military gulag look like a Disney movie. If you accept an offer from this company beware that right now they just need bodies in the stores. That does not mean you won't eventually be on someone's blacklist for your personal aesthetics, your opinions and feelings, or just because. It is impossible to comp your own numbers due to unrealistic sales goals. Bad people are in power here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice at this point would be silly. All of the people who once loved this brand are gone, leaving or looking to leave. This list includes VPs down to part time sales staff. You should have worked with people here as they either loved the brand or could be trained to fulfill your arbitrary requirements. L'Occitane used to be a career destination point for many of us and now it's just another stop on the train many of us would rather forget. Hopefully Reinhold will read this and take out the trash.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great part time retail job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Part Time Sales Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Part Time Sales Associate in New York, NY

    I have been working at L'Occitane part-time

    Pros

    Generous 40% off discount on high-quality products. The company makes each employee attend two training sessions at the corporate office in NYC to really understand everything about the products and how to sell them. With each new campaign (every month) you get one or two free, full size items from that campaign...which is awesome. I've learned a lot about skin care, which is nice because I've incorporated it into my own daily routine. They pay really well for a part time retail job. Plus, 95% of the time you get 8 hour shifts so you are guaranteed to get a decent amount of hours per week.

    Cons

    Every employee is treated as a key holder therefore everyone is treated and expected to do all the work managers and assistant managers do. My issue with this is that as a part time sales associate, I do the same amount of work/paperwork as managers/asst managers and don't make the amount of money they do. Company requires too much paperwork to be completed each opening and closing and even throughout the day. In my opinion, this should only be completed by management, but again each employee is required to do it. They are extremely strict about how you sell products. If you don't follow the "Always" with every single customer it can be an issue with your manager depending how relaxed they are.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut back on all the paperwork that needs to be completed every single day!

    Recommends

L'Occitane Photos

L'Occitane (Photo thanks to Flickr user Simon A, Some Rights Reserved)
L'Occitane (Photo thanks to Flickr user Beat Küng, Some Rights Reserved)
L'Occitane En Provence (Photo thanks to Flickr user Barney Bishop, Some Rights Reserved)

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